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Stage Door Johnny

Stage Door Johnny
Sire Prince John
Dam Peroxide Blonde
Grandsire Princequillo
Damsire Ballymoss
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1965
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Greentree Stud
Owner Greentree Stable
Trainer John M. Gaver, Sr.
Record 8: 5-2-1
Earnings $223,965
Summary
Stage Door Johnny is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Peroxide Blonde by Prince John. He was born around 1965 in the United States, and was bred by Greentree Stud.
Major wins
Belmont Stakes (1968)
Dwyer Handicap (1968)
Saranac Handicap (1968)
Awards
U.S. Co-Champion 3-Yr-Old-Colt (1968)
Honors
Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame (1977)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on January 14, 2008
File:Stage Door Johnnies.jpg
Stage Door Johnnies waited for the lady performers at the stage door after Edwardian musical comedies

Stage Door Johnny (1965-1996) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for his win in the third leg of the 1968 U.S. Triple Crown series, the Belmont Stakes. [1]

Bred for racing a distance

Owned by the Whitney family's prominent Greentree Stable, Stage Door Johnny was sired by Prince John, a four-time leading broodmare sire in North America. His grandsire was the very important stallion Princequillo, a horse of great endurance who won several important races at longer distances. Princequillo broke the Saratoga Race Course record for 1¾ miles and his performances were such that he is considered to be the best long-distance runner in American racing history.

Stage Door Johnny's damsire was the great Irish colt Ballymoss, winner of several races at the Belmont Stakes distance of 1½ miles including the Irish Derby, England's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and France's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe,

The 1968 Belmont Stakes

Stage Door Johnny did not run in the 1¼ mile Kentucky Derby or the 13/16 mile Preakness Stakes. Trained by future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, John M. Gaver, Sr., Stage Door Johnny's breeding and conditioning had him ready for the gruelling 1½ mile Belmont Stakes.

In 1968 a great deal of controversy swirled around the Belmont Stakes as Forward Pass had won the first two legs of the U.S. Triple Crown series as a result of the disqualification of Kentucky Derby winner Dancer's Image. The controversy filled the sporting news of every media outlet in North America and was the cover story for Sports Illustrated magazine which referred to it as the sports story of the year. A victory by Forward Pass in the Belmont Stakes would make him the first Triple Crown winner in twenty years and many fans, experts, and CBS racing commentators felt he would be an illegitimate champion.

Ridden by Heliodoro Gustines, Stage Door Johnny ended the Triple Crown debate when he won the Belmont Stakes in 2:27 1/5 with Forward Pass coming second, a length-and-a-half back. Stage Door Johnny went on to win the Saranac Handicap at the end of June [2] then July's Dwyer Handicap [3]. At a time when three different organizations voted on the various annual racing awards, two voted Stage Door Johnny 1968's U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old-Colt while one gave it to Forward Pass.

Retired to stud duty at Greentree Stud in Lexington, Kentucky, Stage Door Johnny proved a successful sire of a number of stakes race winners including:

Damsire of:

Stage Door Johnny died in November 1996 at the age of thirty-one and is buried at Greentree Stud, now part of the Gainesway Farm property.

References



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